5 Tips for Donating Used Diagnostic Imaging Equipment

January 17, 2012

Here's what you need to know when donating functional, outdated imaging equipment.

Q: As radiologists and imaging centers across the country purchase and upgrade to the latest technologically advanced diagnostic imaging equipment, what happens to the still functional, yet outdated pieces?

A. Many radiologists and imaging centers are now donating the diagnostic imaging equipment to other healthcare organizations, charities, or other countries that are in need of refurbished medical equipment to help deliver adequate medical attention and relief to those less fortunate due to poverty, natural disasters, or war.

If you are considering a donation, here are five tips for donating used diagnostic imaging equipment:

1. Make sure the diagnostic imaging equipment is in good working condition. The equipment may be outdated for your practice or center, but as long as it is still functional, the donated equipment will serve a great purpose to another healthcare organization or charity in need. Note: Some organizations and charities provide maintenance and repair services depending on the make, model, and manufacturer.

2. When it comes to deciding which healthcare organization or charity you prefer to donate, narrow down your choices by asking a few simple questions: Was there a recent natural disaster in the region or country where relief victims need serious medical attention? Do you prefer to stay local to benefit your own community, as well as save on transportation costs? Is there a specific charity or organization that resonates with you on a profound level? Is there a war-torn country in dire need of medical relief?

3. If you still have trouble deciding where to donate the diagnostic imaging equipment in question, there are several charities that will accept the functional equipment and they will decide where to place each piece based on need. Here are a few:

The American Medical Resources Foundation charges a small fee to collect, test, refurbish (if needed), store, and ship donated medical equipment. According to the AMRF website, they have donated free medical equipment to 190 hospitals in 90 countries valued at over $200M.

PROJECT C.U.R.E. stands for PROJECT Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment. According to the PROJECT C.U.R.E. website, they have delivered medical relief by providing medical equipment and supplies that help build sustainable healthcare infrastructures in over 120 countries.

MedShare collects surplus medical equipment and supplies then redistributes them to qualified healthcare facilities in 85 different countries. According to the MedShare website, they also outfit medical missions and safety net clinics in the United States and abroad.

4. Once you choose the recipient, review their guidelines for making diagnostic imaging equipment donations. Many organizations will provide such information on their website, or contact them with any questions. They will be more than happy to help you since you are helping them.

5. Be sure to document all conversations, and each piece of diagnostic imaging equipment donated should have its own file containing all relevant paperwork and receipts for tax purposes. Not only are you helping those in need of medical attention, your donation is a tax write-off. Please consult your CPA for specific details.

Did you donate used diagnostic imaging equipment? Tell us how you chose a recipient, your experience with the process, and any advice you have about the process.

Jennifer Daugherty is a business development coordinator for Charlotte, NC-based The Remi Group, LLC, which provides programs that replace equipment maintenance service contracts, with the goal of saving money, improving equipment performance, and reducing equipment downtime.